The day Banks died, I found myself in the bookstore. I bought new copies of the first two books of his I read, "Against a Dark Background" and "Use of Weapons". I also picked up "Raw Spirit", in which Iain tootles around Scotland in various expensive cars, drinks a lot of whisky, and mutters darkly about the Gulf War.
That day, I read about half of UoW, taking copious notes in the margins on the tricks he was playing in that book. Some of which I only noticed for the first time, despite having read it several times before. All that analysis is why I put it down; I was inspired to work on plotting out the last third of my graphic novel, which I'd been thinking of playing some similar structural games in.
"Raw Spirit" has been sitting next to my bed ever since, getting read in bits before sleep or before getting out of bed in the morning. This morning, I picked it up and read the last couple of chapters. Then this is one of the first things I see when I wake up the computer and do the usual morning web.
RIP, Iain. Thanks for the great books. There's still a part of me that really, really hopes that what was buried was a meat puppet Displaced by the ROU The Infuriating Fragility Of Life In A Pre-Contact Civilisation, and the Contact operative who used the name "Iain Menzies Banks" is off on some more pressing mission.